I had a meat feast pizza the other day and was about to complain how it looked like they'd given me a Margarita until I took a bite and realised the meat was under a bed of cheese. It tasted amazing.
Do you guys approve of his hot pizza tech?
I will say in my defence that this is not my go-to joint and they did, half-way through preparation ask me to confirm my order. Perhaps this was a welcome mistake. First time I've seen a place do such a practice. Heck, I'd take this to its logical conclusion. Toppings, cheese, toppings. Double-decker that. Someone must have.
I'd be okay with it, assuming the pizza checks out otherwise. The problem here is that there is no easy immediate way to check the correctness of the pizza. I had a deep dish several weeks ago that stealthed, what tasted like, an anchovy. While I'm pretty open to my pizza toppings, I don't like being surprised when putting things in my mouth. The weird salty and fishy surprise was not welcome.
Toppings on top let me have an immediate gauge on the consistency, quality, and accuracy of the ordered pizza. This also allows pizza guests to pick off toppings if I decide to share with somebody who might not like the same toppings.
Isn't cheese just another topping? Or is it supposed to melt into te sauce? It makes sense to me to stick the toppings on the sauce and end with cheese. In that way wouldn't the toppings adhere to the pie way better than if they were on top of the cheese?
Granted I'm from northern Europe and thus probably a pizza heathen
I think being puritanical about pizza is crazy. There are thousands of really great ways to prepare pizza, and saying that putting some toppings under the cheese is unacceptable, to me, is silly. This isn't to say there isn't plenty of bad pizza out there, because there is (Pizza Hut is crazy bad), but it isn't because of construction.
1: Toppings-under-cheese means they don't get cooked correctly in the pizza oven. Pepperoni should wilt and render slightly, vegetables should soften, etc.
2: Toppings-under-cheese means you can't check to make sure they made your pizza correctly, or didn't short you on topping quantity.
3: That's why they're called toppings.
4: This restaurant is a monster place.
So, I used to work at pizza hut here in New Zealand (perhaps for way to long and perhaps as store manager).
During that time we changed our cheese standards 3 times. The first way was half the cheese on top, half on the bottom. Then all cheese on bottom, and then all cheese on top.
The worst was all cheese on top. It is the standard here in NZ and I think in Australia as well.
Half bottom and half top is the better pizza to make quality. Take it from me, I have made over 300,000 pizzas.... fuck my life.
I think it's a neat idea to put toppings on the cheese, then put a little more cheese over the toppings - not enough to completely cover them, just to hold them there as though they were trapped in some kind of sticky, delicious web.
You know the best idea of all, though? Cut that cheese. All of it. Just thin layer of tomato + herbs on the base, then the toppings scattered over the top. Generally when I make pizza now that's the way I do it. I'm not opposed to having cheese on a pizza, but at this point I definitely wouldn't choose to have it when making one for myself.
Papa Johns does this all the time and it is the worst. They hide the pepperoni, and while this does have the advantage of trapping the grease where it cannot be seen, you end up with floppy, uncooked pepperoni. It is VITALLY IMPORTANT that pepperonis be crisped during baking.
With other toppings it isn't so vital. I don't mind hiding beef and sausage under the cheese, that helps it keep from rolling off if the chunks are too big.
They all end up jumbled in the mouth and stomach anyway, so I don't care as long as the cooked product tastes right.
The problem is, as @reasonablemanpointed out, that in many cases having toppings cooked underneath the cheese doesn't allow them to cook properly. Papa John's is definitely a serial offender of this crime against good pizza.
Anyone like me who orders lots of meat toppings on their pizza knows that it becomes anarchy trying to keep the toppings from falling off your slice of pizza. Italian sausage does not stack on salami, nor does bacon. Therefore, the cheese-on-top method becomes a viable "container" of sorts to mitigate unwanted topping loss.
However, this creates other problems a few have mentioned like potentially undercooked toppings and the cheese sliding off the top. Undercooked italian sausage is terrible for a lot of reasons, and we're back to the same problem we had earlier minus cheese if you get any cheese-sliding. That said, it can be done. There was a local place here that consistently pulled it off, which is unfortunately now closed because I think people were weirded out by the atypical cheese-on-top configuration. I'm fine with any kind of artisanal pizza joint that isn't overly high-volume to do this and cook it lower and longer to solve all problems, but chain pizza trying this would be nightmarish.
I like the half-on-top, half-on-bottom idea. I'm not sure I've ever even had that, but it seems like the best of both worlds there.
The best (garbage) pizza I ever ate was one that had 3 layers of alternating cheese and crust, no sauce, then the regular meat/cheese toppings. Essentially, the cheesy base acted as sauce and tasted way better than sauce, because it's cheese.
It was also about half as filling for some reason?
Multiple layers of cheese with toppings between and then some more sprinkled on top. The optimal order is as follows:
Edit - I should also mention that you shouldn't put raw meat on it to cook (they should be pre-cooked before being covered in cheese)
I'm all for it! What about cheese, toppings, sauce? I can vouch that this makes a good pizza.
There are a few places around here (South Philadelphia) that do this. It is fine. I think people are missing the fact that a good pizza is made with good ingredients. The layering doesn't really matter.
I am on the side of "Bad pizza is still good pizza, unless you ruin it with pineapple like a monster". But there are still *rules*, man. You can't just randomly throw pizza parts together and call it a pizza. Pizza is dough, sauce, cheese, toppings. Cooked in a pizzeria. Served in a cardboard box with a little plastic table in the middle. That's why frozen pizza isn't pizza. It's good eatin', but it's an entirely different food known as "pizza-adjacent". Homemade pizza? Pizza-adjacent. Toppings underneath the cheese? Pizza-far-adjacent, amongst foods such as the Pizza Bagel and the Pizza Roll.
This is why pizzamen study so long and hard to hone their craft, and why many have died trying to create the perfect pizza. It's not just a culinary art, but rather an advanced binding spell that turns the ingredients into something so much greater than the sum of its parts. Mess with the formula, and you risk unleashing a monstrosity nearly as terrifying as the Hawaiian Pizza. Respect the 'za. Be the 'za.
I've had sauce > toppings > cheese before, and that shit is the worst. The entire damn top part of the pizza will sometimes just slip off.
That's cause it was a shit pizza.
Realistically pizza should be even amounts of everything. Whenever I've made pizza there's never been a big thick layer of cheese like there is on american style pizzas though, everything's fairly balanced and the cheese is on top and below other things. Plus it depends on the cheese really, mascarpone can't really go under stuff else it would go weird.
I get pizza from this local place, my go-to is pepperoni rosa and anchovies (they're good dammit!). For a couple years they always put the toppings on top of the cheese, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on there, it was delicious. One fateful day I ordered the pizza, picked it up, and to my dismay the toppings were under the cheese. They fucked it up, plain and simple and they've been doing it ever since. I don't know what the deal is but it changes the flavor for me. I need to see how much pepperoni and salty-ass fish I'm about to bite into and I can't with the damn cheese on top. AHHHH!
Pizza is science! A good slice held in one or two hands holds together enough to take a bite. You can't have topping falling off, or sauce with a consistency that allows for cheese and toppings slide off. Which is not to say a pizza that doesn't hold together tastes bad....it just not pizza.. its lasagna or something.
But, to cheat by putting cheese on top because your topping come off is cheating. Why not just put carpet staples in it to keep it together in that case. Pizza is science so you need to make it right . A stack of crust, sauce, cheese and toppings that use the laws of Newtonian physics to stay together is the only pizza.
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